Handbook of Disease Burdens and Quality of Life Measures pp 1781-1798 | Cite as
Leisure-Time Physical Activity and Quality of Life
The benefits of physical activity (PA) on health are well established and there is strong evidence of protective effects of regular PA against major chronic disease. In line with this, increased PA and improved fitness were shown to result in better quality of life (QOL) in the general population. In spite of the use of various measuring instruments of PA and QOL, and the adjustment on a more or less important number of QOL determinants, regular PA appears to improve QOL by enhancing psychological well-being and by improving physical functioning. More precisely, a regular PA is globally associated with a better QOL both in the physical domains with a cross-sectional approach and in the mental domains with a longitudinal approach. Most of the studies were interested in overall level of Physical Activity and only few studies were specifically interested in leisure-time Physical Activity. However, behavior during leisure remains most easily modifiable compared with PA at work, for example. In addition, intervention studies involved elderly and none was conducted in children or teenagers. Some results remain contradictory but it is possible to assert that an exercises program has beneficial effects on QOL, particularly on its physical dimension. It is interesting to emphasize that the most promising results were obtained from programs facilitating a regular practice equivalent to the current public health recommendations for physical activity.
KeywordsIntense Physical Activity Public Health Recommendation Leisure Physical Activity Physical Activity Practice Mental Health Dimension
List of Abbreviations:
Leisure-Time Physical Activity
Quality of Life